Watch the Blues Forever: Rhythm Embellishments online guitar lesson by John Goldsby from Upright Bass Handbook

Example 5 is a 12-bar blues walking line that uses several rhythmic embellishments. We'll play the 12-bar chorus two times. Make sure that the rhythmic embellishments hook up with the drummer's ride cymbal beat, and enhance the groove of the quarter-note pulse.

Remember that our job as bassists should be to play good notes, in tune and in time. If a rhythmic embellishment is not in the pocket, then we're not doing our job. As Duke Ellington famously said, "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing!"

Disclaimer! In Bar 5, I used my right-hand index finger to play the triplet drop! I mentioned in the lesson on this technique that I usually play the first note of the triplet with my righthand index finger, and the following notes (down the arpeggio) with the middle finger. In the heat of the musical moment, I chose in this instance to use my right-hand index finger for all of the notes in the arpeggio drop.